Trying again with Gentoo
Since both my laptop and my 'spare' laptop were running the same distro (Ubuntu) I decided there wasn't enough variety in my life so I've installed Gentoo again, this time on the 'spare'. The documentation is still excellent but a few steps were missing: pcmcia is not enabled in the default genkernel config, so I had to recompile it a couple of times, first to get the pcmcia support enabled, and then again to get the drivers for my WLAN card. I found the following genkernel command line handy:
genkernel all --install --no-clean --udev --gensplash=emergence --menuconfig
The '--no-clean' means just the additions get compiled rather than recompiling everything from scratch. In total it took about five hours to get something which would boot with networking and framebuffer. Right now it's busy compiling X.Org.
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